published Saturday, May 4th, 2013

Heavy rains could bring some flooding to Chattanooga area

Floodwaters crest Davidson Road in East Brainerd closing it to traffic Monday morning.
Floodwaters crest Davidson Road in East Brainerd closing it to traffic Monday morning.
Photo by Dan Henry.

RAINY SEASON

• Chattanooga rainfall to date -- 27.48 inches

• Departure from norm -- up 8.47 inches

• Rainfall expected this weekend -- 3 to 7 inches.

Source: National Weather Service, Morristown, Tenn.

  • photo
    A crow drinks from flood waters cresting Davidson Road in East Brainerd closing it to traffic Monday morning.
    Photo by Dan Henry.
    enlarge photo

Make sure your waders and umbrella are handy. Maybe the rowboat, too.

The newly energized remnant of the same storm system that dropped feet of snow over the Rockies and parts of the Midwest this week will flood into the South this weekend.

For Southeast Tennessee and upper North Georgia, that means 3 to 4 inches of rain across most of the area, according to national and local forecasters.

"And there's an outside chance of 6 to 7 inches in spots," adds Paul Barys, chief meteorologist for WRCBTV-3.

"It's going to be a heavier rain than last weekend," Barys said. "but anything like this after last weekend is going to cause major problems. We'll have streets closed. Anybody in a flood-prone area better be ready."

Terry Getz, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn., said Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia already are in a flood watch zone. He said the rain will be moderate today but get heavier and hit very heavy tonight and into early Sunday. It will taper off by Monday, he said.

"It will create some minor flooding concerns," Getz said. "South Chickamauga Creek will probably go up above flood stage to at least some moderate flooding, and the Sequatchie River at Whitwell will be above flood stage. There will be moderate flooding."

"The same is true for smaller streams," he said. "And everyone does need to be aware of that."

Forecasters said the storm system will deepen and strengthen as it moves into the Mississippi and Tennessee valleys, but it isn't expected to spawn severe thunderstorms or tornadoes.

Just rain, and lots of it.

"It's not going to be like a tropical depression that dumps 15 inches of rain, but with the ground as wet as it is already is, it's going to be bad," said Barys.

about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

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